BATTLESPACE BOOK CLUB
23 Jul 07. Reform Treaty for the European Union: FCO Document. The UK’s approach to EU reform is set out in a White Paper published by the FCO (23 Jul 07). Publication coincided with the launch of an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), convened to negotiate the text of an EU Reform Treaty. The Treaty text is due to be signed in December 2007 and ratification by all Member States is anticipated by 2009.
Comment: The IGC mandate for a Reform Treaty retains key features included in the ‘Draft Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe’, which was rejected by referenda in France (29 May 05) and in the Netherlands
(1 Jun 05). Reforms include provisions for a single High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, while the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) is to incorporate the principle of Enhanced Co-operation (enabling small groups of states to pursue specific ESDP projects).
‘The Reform Treaty – the British Approach to the European Union Intergovernmental Conference, July 2007’ includes a copy of the IGC Mandate and can be obtained from the FCO website (www.fco.gov.uk). ‘Hard’ copies are available from TSO and The Parliamentary Bookshop (Tel: 020-7219 3890), as Cm 7174, for £9:00. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0732, 13 Aug 07)
06 Aug 07. European Defence Policy: House of Lords Report. The House of Lords published (6 Aug 07) a Report on Current Developments in European Defence Policy. The Report is mainly a record of the evidence given by the Defence Equipment Minister to a Sub-Committee of the House on 12 Jul 07.
Comment: The evidence session was wide-ranging and included: the role of the European Defence Agency; procurement collaboration; security of supply; EU Defence spending and the relationship of the NATO and EU Military Committees (said to be “not good”). The Report is available on the website (www.parliament.uk) and in ‘hard’ copy from TSO or from The Parliamentary Bookshop, as HL Paper 161, for £6:50. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0732, 13 Aug 07)
27 Jul 07. Leaving the Services: National Audit Office (NAO) Report
The NAO published (27 Jul 07) a Report on Leaving the Services. The Report concludes that the MoD “offers a good range of resettlement support for those leaving the Armed Forces and most people adapt back into civilian life easily and comfortably”. Some 25,000 people left the Armed Forces in 2006/07.
Comment: The Report will be of most interest to military administrators. Detailed comparisons are made with the Service leaving arrangements in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and the US. NAO Reports are available on the website (www.nao.org.uk). ‘Leaving the Services’ is also available in ‘hard’ copy from TSO and from The Parliamentary Bookshop, as HC 618, for £18:00. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS ANALYSIS, Issue 0732, 13 Aug 07)
07 Aug 07. Arms Exports: Quadripartite Committee Report. The Quadripartite Committee published (7 Aug 07) a report on Strategic Export Controls: 2007 Review. The Committee concludes that the Export Control Act 2002 provides a sound legislative basis for controlling and regulating the UK’s strategic exports but that there are gaps and shortcomings. The Committee makes 96 ‘Conclusions and Recommendations’ on the effectiveness of the present legislation. The Committee expresses concern “that UK Defence Attaché posts may be cut, particularly in countries where the export of goods and technology from the UK requires careful consideration….” (para 312).
Comment: The Quadripartite Committee consists of four House of Commons Committees working together to examine the Government’s strategic export control system and policies. The four are: Defence, Foreign Affairs, International Development and Trade & Industry. The Report is available on the website (www.parliament.uk) and in ‘hard’ copy from TSO or from The Parliamentary Bookshop, as HC 117, for £25:00. (Source: DNA DEFENCE NEWS